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or close to it. What do you have to do? What are some of the issues to consider. It keeps flooding here, and I hate driving around that stuff for fear of messing something up. Thanks.
 

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Originally posted by busdrivah:
<STRONG>or close to it. What do you have to do? What are some of the issues to consider. It keeps flooding here, and I hate driving around that stuff for fear of messing something up. Thanks.</STRONG>
I have seen guys waterproof their trucks by, by, by bwahahahaha <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0">
 

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Several things need to be done in order to prepare your vehicle for wading in water any deeper than the bottom of your axles. I'll start from the bottom up.

Some depends on your vehicle, but several things apply to all vehicles. First, extend the axle breather tubes up to a higher level. How high you go with these tubes depends on how much water you think you will see. While you are at it, many transmissions and transfer cases also have breather tubes on top. You should extend these as well.

Next, identify any electronics that might be on the floor. (ECUs are mounted under the seat in some vehicles.) You may want to either move your electronics to a higher location, or seal it in some manner. Just keep in mind that electronics generate heat and need to be cooled.

Further up, your distributor (if you have one) and other electrical connections can be made relatively water resistant by coating all connections and holes with Dielectric grease. This is available at most auto parts stores.

Radiator fans are another area that needs consideration. The easiest thing to do is put a piece of cardboard, wood, or canvas over your grille immediately before entering the water. This will slow down any floating objects aimed at destroying your radiator. Also, this will create an air-pocket for your fans to work in. High speed fans hitting water can break fan blades or bend them into the radiator. Neither of which is desirable if you want to keep cooling your vehicle when you return to dry land. The best solution to preserve your fan and your radiator is to stop the fan. Think about putting in a cut-off switch for electric radiator fans in order to keep them from shorting out or eating the radiator. Mechanical fans can sometimes be removed with one nut/bolt. Or, if you have an individual fan belt, you can remove the belt. (That's usually a huge pain.)

The one place where water can do the most damage on any engine is at the air intake. Water is not compressible and when it gets into the cylinders, it will lock the engine and sometimes break rods, crankshafts, pins, etc. I would consider a snorkel raised up to roof level or possibly an extended air intake into the cab. Make sure either option is sealed well in the engine bay. Another benefit to a snorkel is to get clean air from outside the vehicle. Ever notice how dirty your engine is? Think about breathing under there while it's getting dirty!

Of course, you can go as far as I have and have a completely mechanical engine. One of my rigs is a diesel that has no electricals at all. It'll run underwater so long as I keep giving it fuel and air!

And on to the driving technique: This is very important and can make a huge difference in even a stock vehicle. We teach people to first test the water! You don't want to be surprised by falling in a hole over your head while driving! Next, you should hit the water relatively slowly, about 5 mph or so. You will create a bow wave. As you drive through the water, back off just a bit and then follow the wave across the water. This will create a shallower spot in your engine bay and help to keep the engine out of the water. DO NOT hit the water at high speeds unless you are ready for it! Again, water is incompressible and can be very hard when hit at speed. Also, do not stop if you can help it. If the engine starts to suck water, shut it off! Better to get pulled out and remove the water than have it destroy your engine. If you're traveling with others (which you should,) only one vehicle in the water at a time. This allows for others to pull you out if you get stuck or disabled.

That's about it for me, so good luck! Engine recovery after a flood is another post entirely and we can get into that if you're interested.


-John
 

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hmm well that about sums it all up
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
-John

Thanks man, I really appreciate it. I may be asking about recovery in the near future. I hope to be putting the engine in my fj40 within the next couple weeks and I'll keep your suggestions in mind.

-Hansen

What are you laughing at?
 

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Originally posted by busdrivah:
<STRONG>-John

-Hansen

What are you laughing at?</STRONG>
I'm just crakin fun at ya! Not every day you hear... How can I waterproof my truck? --Josh
 

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RoverOver's post listed most of the stuff. Also remember to lube your driveshafts and other lube points much more frequently if driving in water. My 4Runner lists lube intervals on the visor, and it says to do it every day if driving in flooded conditions.

I must admit, every other Toy I've owned I've only lubed a couple times, and I dunked them a LOT.
 

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Another thing to consider when protecting your truck from water, is to protect the water from your truck(i.e. LEGAL streams, rivers, ponds) make sure that all leaks are addressed so that no contaminants make it into the water(or as little as possible). As soon as you get on dry land, CHECK ALL FLUIDS! make sure that no water has gotten into your nice new axles, or your freshly rebuilt T-case. Its better to check it even if you know nothing can get in, than smoke your shit on the trail. Good luck!
 
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